The mind and the breath are inseparable. Control the breath; control the mind.
Slow, full breath creates calm. The fullness of deep, calm breathing releases the staleness and constriction of anger and fear. Racing thoughts dissolve as attention shifts to the breath.
Breathe! Breathe with awareness. Begin by simply directing consciousness to the breath. Notice the breath. No pressure, no expectation, no judgment, just awareness placed on breathing naturally, as it happens.
Next, decide to accompany the breath on drums—that is, count out the beats of an in-breath, as well as its accompanying out-breath. Bring the beats into equality; same count in as out. Always count along.
Ask the breath to deepen into the abdomen. If the body isn’t ready to go there that’s fine. However far it goes is enough. After some time the body may invite a deeper breath, naturally, as it relaxes and opens to more.
Perhaps as the breath goes even deeper, filling and fully relaxing the abdominal region, it moves higher into the chest and upper chest, filling the body to a count of eight. Holding the breath for a few counts before slowly releasing to exhalation, from the abdomen up to the chest on a count of eight beats, allows for deepening relaxation and calm. Perhaps the breath might repeat this process several times, always with awareness of inhaling and counting and exhaling and counting slowly, maintaining a sense of the filling and emptying of the belly and lungs. Notice the calming of the mind as it is led by the calmness of the breath flowing in the body.
Frequent repetitions of conscious breathing sink into the unconscious, creating a reformulated program for deeper breathing, uprooting old habits of vigilance, fear, or anger, habituated in the body in younger years under other circumstances.
Conscious breathing, accompanied by counting of each beat, sinks into the subconscious as a new habit of calm, naturally canceling out unsolicited thoughts that reactively register unwanted feeling states in the body.
Conscious breathing changes the mind and the body by grounding us in the present in calm. From calm we are strengthened in our ability to weather the true storms from within and without. From calm we dispel the illusions that have held our body and mind in check. From calm we resume our interrupted journey, returning back to nature, flowing in the calm river of infinity.